T-Mobile data breach and SIM swap fraud: How to protect your identity

When you think about something huge, T-mobile hacking It doesn’t get any worse than this. On Friday, the carrier announced that more than 50 million of his customers, including current and former customers and prepaid customers, were affected. affected by a breach. Information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and account pin numbers were are some Measures you can take now To protect your financial information.

Whether you’re a T-Mobile user or not, having your account PIN compromised is a big is password You will be asked to give it to a T-Mobile employee before making any changes to your account. The scammer, who knows your account password, can call customer care and ask you to change the SIM card linked to your phone number to his new SIM card and device, effectively giving away your account. Your phone number may be hijacked. If you moved from T-Mobile to another carrier and are using the same passcode, you should change it now.

Swapping your SIM isn’t just an inconvenience. Once someone has your phone number, they can use it to impersonate you or log into your online accounts. You can instantly access the two-factor authentication code (a PIN your institution sends to you via text message to verify your identity) that you receive via text message.

So, if they also know your passwords and other personal information, they can log into your email, banking, or social media accounts with just a few clicks. Also, if someone gains access to your email account, he or she could change other passwords or search your email archives to create a list of your entire online presence.take time How to stay away from SMS 2FA codes Use app-based code instead. seriously.

Look at this: T-Mobile data breach: What you need to know

For example, Matthew Miller, a contributor to CNET’s sister site ZDNet, fell victim to a SIM swap scam and remained a victim of it for several months. The person who took over Mr. Miller’s phone number accessed Mr. Miller’s girlfriend’s Gmail account, immediately changed the password, erased all emails, deleted all files in his Google Drive account, and I ended up deleting his Gmail account completely.

Miller later discovered that he was targeted because he had a Coinbase account and his bank account was linked to it. Miller’s phone received a two-factor authentication code for her Coinbase account, allowing the hacker to log into her cryptocurrency trading account and purchase $25,000 worth of Bitcoin. Miller had to call her bank and report the transaction as fraudulent. It was on top of the immense weakness he felt.

To be clear, this is not a T-Mobile-specific issue. All wireless carriers and customers can fall victim to his SIM swap scam. Below are some tips to protect your wireless account.

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It only takes a few minutes to add an important layer of security to your account.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

How to prevent SIM swapping on your account

Adding a PIN code or password to your wireless account reduces the chance that someone can access and take over your phone number. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all offer the ability to add a PIN code.

If you’re not sure if you have a PIN code or need to set one, here are the steps you need to take for each major U.S. carrier.

  • T-mobile: Set up T-Mobile’s account takeover prevention service. You need to add functionality to the individual lines of your account. We also recommend changing your account’s PIN (unless you’re prompted to do so while setting up account takeover protection).
  • AT&T: Go to your account profile, sign in,[サインイン情報]Click. If you have multiple AT&T accounts, select your wireless account and follow the link below. Manage additional security under wireless passcode section. Make your changes and enter your password when prompted to save.
  • verizon wireless: Call *611 to have your account port frozen and visit this webpage for more information on how to enable enhanced authentication on your account.

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If your phone stops working, please contact customer care immediately.

Juan Gerson/CNET

If you receive service through another carrier, call that carrier’s customer service number and ask them how to protect your account. In most cases, you will be asked to create a PIN or passcode.

When creating a PIN or passcode, remember that using your birthday, anniversary, or address as a PIN code won’t work if someone has enough information to pretend it’s actually you. be careful.Instead, create a carrier-specific passcode and use it password teeth Are you using a password manager?

How to check if the SIM has been replaced

The easiest way to tell if your SIM card is no longer active is to see if your phone has completely lost service. You may receive a text message indicating that the SIM card for your number has changed, and if you haven’t, you’ll be asked to call customer service. But once your SIM card is no longer active, you won’t be able to make calls from your phone, or even call customer service (more on this later).

So, the easiest way to tell if you’re affected is if your phone completely loses service and you can’t send or receive texts or calls.

What to do if you fall victim to SIM exchange fraud

The truth is, if someone badly wants to access your phone number, they will use any means possible to deceive your carrier’s support personnel. While what we outlined above is best practice, it is not foolproof.

Researchers were able to pose as account holders who had forgotten their PIN or passcode, often providing recent outgoing calls from the target phone number made by the actual account holder. How do they know that number? They tricked the account holder into making a phone call. Even more frightening, the researchers were sometimes able to provide the incoming phone number to the account they wanted to take over. That meant the bad guy just had to call the target’s phone number himself.

If you notice a loss of service on your mobile device, call your carrier immediately and let them know that you haven’t made any changes. Your carrier can help you regain access to your phone number. I can’t stress this enough — Don’t wait for a call. The longer someone has access to your phone number, the more damage they can do.

Customer service numbers for each major carrier are listed below. Enter your carrier’s number as a contact on your mobile phone.

  • AT&T: 1-800-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: 1-800-937-8997
  • Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

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Once someone has access to your phone number, they can access most of your online accounts.

James Martin/CNET

Once your SIM card is deactivated, you won’t be able to make calls from your phone, but at least you’ll be able to use the number on other people’s devices.

You should also contact your bank or credit card company and double-check all online accounts to make sure the perpetrator hasn’t changed passwords or made fraudulent transactions. If you see a transaction that doesn’t belong to you, call your bank or visit a branch immediately and explain the situation.

Remember, no matter how many PIN codes and passwords you add to your online accounts, there’s still a chance someone will find a way to break into your account. But you should at least set a passcode on your account and know what to do if you find it. Even if you yourself become a victim of her SIM swap, be prepared.

Another important aspect of strong online security is password manager Create and store unique passwords on your behalf.Additionally, enable two-factor authentication On all accounts that provide it.and make sure it’s not fall into a robocall or fraudulent text messages.

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